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The WIFI Study: Students’ Valuing of Mathematics Learning in Hong Kong and Japan

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What Matters? Research Trends in International Comparative Studies in Mathematics Education

Part of the book series: Research in Mathematics Education ((RME))

Abstract

This chapter introduces the reader to the What I Find Important (in my mathematics learning) study (WIFI), conducted by a consortium of 21 research teams from 18 economies. It uses the same questionnaire to assess what students value in their respective mathematics education experiences. Two case economies, Hong Kong and Japan, provide the context for the discussion. This provides a reference point for analyzing four significant themes: the affordance to identify and define cultures and subcultures, the documenting and comparing of espoused and enacted valuing, the triangulation of survey responses, and the culturally situated labelling of values and valuing.

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Correspondence to Wee Tiong Seah .

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Appendices

Appendix 1: Rotated component matrix for Hong Kong data

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Component 1: Exploration

Q56 Knowing the steps of the solution

0.748

        

Q54 Understanding concepts / processes

0.708

        

Q55 Shortcuts to solving a problem

0.703

        

Q51 Learning through mistakes

0.655

        

Q58 Knowing which formula to use

0.604

        

Q63 Understanding why my solution is incorrect or correct

0.593

        

Q50 Getting the right answer

0.588

        

Q59 Knowing the theoretical aspects of mathematics

0.564

        

Q49 Examples to help me understand

0.546

        

Q2 Problem-solving

0.530

        

Q47 Using diagrams to understand maths

0.491

        

Q53 Teacher use of keywords

0.490

        

Component 2: Alternative approaches

Q17 Stories about mathematics

 

0.760

       

Q61 Stories about mathematicians

 

0.754

       

Q18 Stories about recent developments in mathematics

 

0.696

       

Q34 Outdoor mathematics activities

 

0.666

       

Q25 Mathematics games

 

0.559

       

Q52 Hands-on activities

 

0.555

       

Component 3: Effort

Q37 Doing a lot of mathematics work

  

0.849

      

Q36 Practicing with lots of questions

  

0.822

      

Q57 Mathematics homework

  

0.732

      

Q62 Completing mathematics work

  

0.690

      

Q43 Mathematics tests examinations

  

0.519

      

Component 4: (Mathematics) identity

Q30 Alternative solutions

   

0.687

     

Q21 Students posing maths problems

   

0.601

     

Q31 Verifying theorems hypotheses

   

0.593

     

Q29 Making up my own maths questions

   

0.585

     

Q19 Explaining my solutions to the class

   

0.487

     

Component 5: Recall

Q28 Knowing the times tables

    

0.629

    

Q14 Memorizing facts

    

0.570

    

Q38 Given a formula to use

    

0.548

    

Q13 Practicing how to use maths formulae

    

0.517

    

Q32 Using mathematical words

    

0.513

    

Component 6: ICT

Q22 Using the calculator to check the answer

     

0.802

   

Q23 Learning maths with the computer

     

0.760

   

Q4 Using the calculator to calculate

     

0.724

   

Q24 Learning maths with the internet

     

0.692

   

Q27 Being lucky at getting the correct answer

     

0.560

   

Component 7: Feedback

Q45 Feedback from my friends

      

0.666

  

Q44 Feedback from my teacher

      

0.646

  

Q46 Me asking questions

      

0.485

  

Component 8:Applications

Q10 Relating mathematics to other subjects in school

       

0.636

 

Q12 Connecting maths to real life

       

0.553

 

Q11 Appreciating the beauty of mathematics

       

0.549

 

Q8 Learning the proofs

       

0.485

 

Component 9:Exposition

Q5 Explaining by the teacher

        

0.550

Q7 Whole-class discussions

        

0.493

Q6 Working step by step

        

0.485

  1. Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis; Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization
  2. aRotation converged in ten iterations

Appendix 2: Rotated component matrix for Japan data

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Component 1: Wonder

61. Stories about mathematicians

0.760

        

17. Stories about mathematics

0.755

        

18. Stories about recent developments in mathematics

0.732

        

11. Appreciating the beauty of mathematics

0.682

        

60. Mystery of mathematics

0.649

        

39. Looking out for math in real life

0.620

        

40. Explaining where the rules/formulae came from

0.619

        

34. Outdoor mathematics activities

0.568

        

10. Relating mathematics to other subjects in school

0.529

        

12. Connecting math to real life

0.517

        

21. Students posing math problems

0.481

        

20. Mathematics puzzles

0.481

        

Component 2: Creativity

30. Alternative solutions

 

0.691

       

15. Looking for different ways to find the answer

 

0.665

       

16. Looking for different possible answers

 

0.655

       

31. Verifying theorems/hypotheses

 

0.546

       

37. Doing a lot of mathematics work

 

0.515

       

63. Understanding why my solution is incorrect or correct

 

0.486

       

36. Practicing with lots of questions

 

0.460

       

8. Learning the proofs

 

0.460

       

29. Making up my own math questions

 

0.455

       

Component 3: Results

14. Memorizing facts (e.g., Area of a rectangle = length × breadth)

  

0.712

      

13. Practicing how to use math formulae

  

0.639

      

2. Problem-solving

  

0.526

      

28. Knowing the times tables

  

0.522

      

43. Mathematics tests/examinations

  

0.497

      

32. Using mathematical words

  

0.470

      

Component 4: Others' involvement

44. Feedback from my teacher

   

0.645

     

41. Teacher helping me individually

   

0.601

     

45. Feedback from my friends

   

0.553

     

46. Me asking questions

   

0.473

     

35. Teacher asking us questions

   

0.472

     

5. Explaining by the teacher

   

0.458

     

Component 5: Know-how

55. Shortcuts to solving a problem

    

0.633

    

56. Knowing the steps of the solution

    

0.597

    

64. Remembering the work we have done

    

0.471

    

54. Understanding concepts/processes

    

0.451

    

Component 6: ICT

23. Learning math with the computer

     

0.854

   

24. Learning math with the internet

     

0.844

   

22. Using the calculator to check the answer

     

0.637

   

25. Mathematics games

     

0.578

   

Component 7: Discussion

7. Whole-class discussions

      

0.693

  

3. Small-group discussions

      

0.660

  

9. Mathematics debates

      

0.493

  

Component 8: Reality

48. Using concrete materials to understand

       

0.474

 

Component 9: Mystery

27. Being lucky at getting the correct answer

        

0.565

  1. Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis; Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization
  2. aRotation converged in 19 iterations

Appendix 3: Correlations between all pairs of factor vectors in the Hong Kong and Japanese data

Table 3

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Seah, W.T., Baba, T., Zhang, Q. (2017). The WIFI Study: Students’ Valuing of Mathematics Learning in Hong Kong and Japan. In: Son, JW., Watanabe, T., Lo, JJ. (eds) What Matters? Research Trends in International Comparative Studies in Mathematics Education. Research in Mathematics Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51187-0_18

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